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BIM, Data and Smarter Maintenance Approach
OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: This Page
Architects are looking for you. Well, sort of.
More accurately, they are looking for ways to more effectively give maintenance and engineering managers better information on key components, materials and systems in new and upgraded institutional and commercial facilities.
A growing number of managers trying to improve the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of their departments have tapped into various pools of data to achieve these goals. Two recent conversations with architects at the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in Los Angeles reinforce that building information modeling (BIM) offers managers the mother lode of facility data — if they can access it.
Both architects wondered about the levels of software and expertise available to managers that would enable managers to receive and use BIM data for new and upgraded facilities. Increasingly, architects, engineers and contractors are using BIM to generate three-dimensional, digital representations of the physical and functional characteristics of facilities.
Ideally, managers and organizations would have access to the software and expertise needed to put BIM data to good use. If so, instead of basing actions on hunches and anecdotes, managers would use BIM data in analyzing a situation, monitoring its evolution and even predicting its outcome — all in support of making the most informed decision possible on when and how to act to address the situation.
Who knows how the pace of BIM adoption will play out? Hurdles remain along the path to acceptance and actual use. For now, managers might feel a bit better knowing that, slowly, the age-old view of maintenance as a necessary evil in facilities is fading a bit and that others along the facility design and construction continuum are considering their information needs.
For more on BIM, see Laurie Gilmer’s Management Insight column.